Response to an angry blog commenter

The woods

The woods

Yesterday morning, still half-asleep, I read an angry comment from a blog reader.

Let’s call him Dan.  The poor fellow once found himself lost in the woods and wanted practical tips to aid him next time such an event might occur.  He discovered a blog post (written by yours truly in July, 2010) and proceeded to read for informative wise advice about What to do if you’re lost in the woods.

His response?

This was the WORST advice for being lost in the woods that I have ever seen. I was really expecting something helpful and all I encountered was: discover the inner rhythm of thickets. Seriously?! I have actually been lost in the woods and I wanted to find concrete tips for the next time I find myself in the woods and all you have done is waste my time with useless platitudes and adages.

Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees...

Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees…

I read Dan’s comment to Barry.

“Are you upset?” he asked.

“No,” I replied.  And I really wasn’t.  Befuddled, perhaps.  Had one of us missed the forest for the trees?

This morning I traveled back to July, 2010, and read the blog post (having 94% forgotten its contents since then.)

Dan, Dan, Dan.  There was so MUCH practical advice in this post!  Even though some of it was, OK, cloaked in metaphysical garb.  How could you have missed all the useful hints?  I am so inclined to write you a proper response.

Looking up

Looking up

Dear Dan,

I am so very sorry to hear that you were lost in the woods.  It can be a terrifying experience.  You must have been very scared, indeed.  I’ve been scared, too, during those times when I’ve been lost in the woods.

I’m also sorry to hear that you got lost in the Internet the other day.  That can be really challenging, too.  We Google for practical information and the next thing we know we’re stuck in someone’s metaphysical ramblings.  It can be a shock to the entire system, can’t it?  

The answer, of course, is just a click away.  We recognize that we’re lost and we realize that we need to travel elsewhere.  We calmly click that Guiding Mouse to the left or right and, wa la!, we’re perhaps on a site that offers to lead us home to where we’re searching.

I can see why you’re angry, Dan.  When we’re scared and lost, we tend to lash out.  We so want to find our way to the safe paths which seem to guide us to where our mind wants to go.  

Hoping you’ve found your way by now.  Trusting your inner compass will guide you and that maybe someone on the Internet might teach you something more practical.

Many blessings as you travel,  Another Wayfarer on this Pilgrimage called Life

P.S. Dan, if you Google Avalanche Roof Shovels or Palm Trees or Studebakers or How to Survive a Power Outage–please do not return to this blog!

Safe travels

Safe travels

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in November 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Response to an angry blog commenter

  1. shirley khodja says:

    Love it!

  2. jeffstroud says:

    Tongue in cheek all the way! LOL I remember that blog rather well, for some reason. It makes sense to me, in the “real” world and the metaphysical one.

    Yes our fellow traveler could not see the forest for the trees! Yet the trees may very well hold the answer!

  3. Dear Dan,

    Internet research means that you should look around for the site that suits your purposes. My friend Kathy’s blog is clearly not to your taste, but that does not give you the right to lash out because of your inability to navigate your way through the internet or the woods.

    I suggest you sign up for a course in research,

    Friend of the Lake Superior Spirit, PhD

  4. Elisa says:

    roflmao titter giggle snort

    (oops, goes to fetch a tissue)

    I wonder what was said to the other 5 million posters who told him how to make a shelter from hemlock, when OF COURSE all posters SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that he was ONLY lost in aspen.

    I guess that there are many ways to be lost and that perhaps as many tools as can be plunked upon Dear Dan might help him to dig his way out of his A..h oh I won’t say that. (you have NEVER seen fit to call me an A…h oh I won’t say that have you Kathy?)

    (wait i need another tissue now)

    I am giggling at how angry I get and how my expectations that everyone is in my EXACT mindset and the infuriation at the lack of compliance and empathy. I think that I will bookmark this particular post and use it when Z has a literal moment and/or misses my projected mark.

    I wish Dear Dan to know that I can fully commiserate with his types. There for the grass of God go I. I wonder if I directed him to the Fake it till you become it post, if that might also be of assistance during his search.

    I am also having a humorous from a nice warm house thought. What if Dan was actively lost and was using his last cell battery moments to locate helpful tips? You know, like the State Farm radio commercial, where he says he never uses the cell unless he’s in a ditch and she asks him, “are you in a ditch now?” and he says: ” why yes, yes I am.”

  5. Excellent response to ‘Dan — much kinder than mine might have been to a person who is quick to blame and slow to take responsibility for himself.

  6. Some people have very little idea about blog post comment etiquette, which is basically my life’s motto: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” (Thumper from the Disney movie Bambi) There is absolutely no point in ranting at the person who titled their post with a phrase that led him astray from his true goal.

    Actually, I went to the post in question, read it and, technically, there was some very good advice in it about what to do when lost in the woods. The looking for the sun and moss growing on the north and covering yourself with leaves as a blanket were all good things to know. I think I would add as a PS to Dan, read Gary Paulson’s book ‘Hatchet’ about a kid who got stranded in the woods with only a small hatchet and managed to survive a winter. It may be a fictional story, but does contain survival techniques, if you happen to have brought along a small hatchet with you on that innocent jaunt through the woods berry picking or whatever. 🙂

    • debyemm says:

      My husband often quotes the same – “If you can’t …, don’t …” – and so it has stuck with me. And it’s true. Now, there are times that we say something wrong and never intended an attack. These can be forgiven as misunderstandings, though I don’t consider Dan’s that and I loved Kathy’s letter to him. If one doesn’t “get” the metaphysical perspective, the “advice” is useless. Otherwise, the “advice” is actually perfect.

      I get lost but I always find my way out. There are navigational aids in the sky, day or night, to assist us, except when it’s cloudy.

  7. dawnkinster says:

    Sad for Dan. Perhaps woods are not really his thing. Perhaps he should try the beach next time.

  8. Robin says:

    Poor Dan. Lost in the woods, and lost on the internet. Both are so easy to do, but I’ve found that sometimes getting lost leads to the best experiences, including finding a good blog. 🙂

  9. What started as a grin, grew into a smile, triggered a chuckle, and then blossomed into a full-blown belly laugh. love, Love, LOVE this post and all of the ensuing readers’ responses as well.

    Dan should have his compass checked. It seems that his True North is a bit off kilter…

  10. I knew I liked you because of your warmth, intellect, writing talent, and kindness. But now I must add that I like you even MORE because of your sweet seductive sense of humor. Your response to Dan was perfect (of course). Funny, subtly sarcastic, yet soulful and caring in its blend of ‘screw you, idiot ‘ and ‘come on, friend, lighten up and look for the beautiful tree in the middle of this forest of life.’

  11. Great post but Dan if you are reading this, make like Hansel and Gretal next time

  12. lisaspiral says:

    Kathy, you are delightful. I don’t know if I would have been as gracious. It got me to thinking about all the times when I’ve found myself in the “why can’t I have what I need” headspace so that I couldn’t see what I had. I don’t know that I’ve ever been quite as inclined to blame someone else for me “losing my way” but your compassion allowed me access to mine. Thank you.

  13. Your response was certainly helpful to all of us who can’t think with someone writing such angry and critical comments to you Kathy! Let’s hope it gets through to “Dan.” I have my doubts.

  14. Carol says:

    It strikes me that poor Dan is lost in more ways than just the woods. Perhaps he should stay in his nice safe bedroom. Then again, there could be something lurking in the closet. . . .

    Sent from my iPad


  15. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – you, as always, know just how to hit it on the head. “Take THAT” to all the other folks who project their ire on others for not giving them what they want at any given moment. The absurdity of life continues to bring a giggle. Shame on us all for not being able to read each other’s minds or fill the unspoken need. I would recommend Dan stay away from the woods.

  16. Heather says:

    Poor Dan. It really must have been frustrating to have gotten lost twice. Though you apparently didn’t help him to avoid his first mistake, surely your calm, thoughtful response will help guide him through his second. How magnanimous of you 🙂

  17. blastedgoat says:

    This was enjoyable! I have done a similar response on my own blog. I love when people get angry at others who actually contribute something. 9/10 times I find a troll online they never have their own content they just judge everyone else for not being good enough.

  18. nice post. Ps I try Not to get lost in the first place.

  19. poetinjena says:

    Well, Kathy, a little alchemy practice in the ever darkening days of November certainly can’t go amiss, especially when ire can be so gracefully transformed into humour (not forgetting a nice touch of irony!).

  20. It takes all kinds! What Dan should have been searching for was a site to tell him how not to get lost in the woods in the first place, that would have been much more useful.

  21. john says:

    There have been so many times that I didn’t even know I was lost until you showed me the way. With deep and abiding gratitude …

  22. bearyweather says:

    You handled that nicely. 😉

  23. I want to read the one on Studebakers! If you respond by sending me that link, I’ll tell you a couple sad Studebaker stories.

  24. Christie says:

    Loved your response, keep on blogging just as you have been. Dan just doesn’t know what he has been missing. Poor guy, sure do hope he finds a sense of humor….

  25. Susan D says:

    Well done, K. Sue 🙂

  26. Perhaps, just perhaps, Dan was angry with himself for being so stupid as to get lost in the woods as well as the internet, therefore, he took his anger out on you.
    Enjoyed the post and the comments.

  27. lucindalines says:

    Oh Kathy, you always have such a great way to look at things, let alone how you respond. Loved it.

  28. I love your response so much, it rivals some of my favorite letters! Kind, sympathetic, informative…and “please don’t come back around here!” I just love it!

  29. So many ways to get lost, eh? Hoping Dan finds his way.

  30. Hahaha, maybe Dan should have looked for advice on eHow 😛

  31. Karen says:

    Love your answer to Dan…I hope you emailed him a copy of this post. I’m sure he won’t be around but I so wish he could read all the comments. Maybe he wouldn’t be so lost in his life. 🙂

  32. jeff v says:

    Do you remember the Leon Russell song by that name? Lost in woods. It’s one of my faves . google it up and give it a listen. it’s a hoot.

  33. Pingback: The titillation of conflict | Lake Superior Spirit

  34. Stacy says:

    Dan is just rude, plain and simple. For some reason, those in cyber society (much like driving society) believe it is ok to lambaste others. Frustration can be expressed in a civilized manner, but some choose to ignore this fact. ❤

  35. Sometimes I just shake my head. But your PS is over the top!

  36. Janet says:

    Lovely response!….so eloquent and kind.

  37. Barbara Kass says:

    I am just now getting around to reading this one. Now I am going to have to write a blog about how to survive a power outage and see what I attract.

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